The 17-Mile Drive is fundamentally a road that passes through an exclusive neighborhood. You'll pay a fee (per car) to drive on it and motorcycles are not allowed. Despite what you may read elsewhere, the drive from the Highway 1 Gate to the Carmel Gate is approximately 17 miles. If you enter and/or leave through different gates, the distance you travel on the 17-Mile Drive may be different.
Once you get inside, you'll find signs and red-painted dashed lines on the pavement to help you follow the route. The 17-Mile Drive winds through a forested area and along the oceanfront, passing three golf courses, two luxury hotels and the famed Lone Cypress tree. The 17-Mile Drive guide map you get at the gate will give a brief description of each point of interest, or you can check the 17-Mile Drive Map online.
17-Mile Drive ReviewWe rate the 17-Mile Drive 3.5 stars out of 5. The alternative we mention on the next page offers equally nice views and you don't have to pay a penny for it. However, if you really want to see the Lone Cypress or visit Pebble Beach, it's is the only way you get there.
Poll: What do you think of the 17-Mile Drive as a tourist destination?
Getting to the 17-Mile Drive
17-Mile Drive website
You can enter the 17-Mile Drive through any of five gates, where you will stop to pay the entry fee and pick up a map. These are the most common entry points:
- Highway 1 at Highway 68: This is the most convenient 17-Mile Drive entrance if you're coming from Monterey or are already on Highway 1
- Pacific Grove Gate: Get there from Sunset Drive
- Carmel: The toll booth is on San Antonio Ave
If you are in San Francisco and want to visit the 17-Mile Drive, you can take a tour with my friend Jesse of A Friend in Town or book a group tour of Monterey, Carmel and The 17-Mile Drive through Viator.
Visiting 17-Mile Drive
- Reservations: Not required
- Cost: The 17-Mile Drive is a toll road. The per-car fee gets you in and you'll get a driving guide to take along with you. Bicycles can get in for free if they enter through the Pacific Grove gate.
- Location: Runs between Carmel and Pacific Grove. See directions below.
- How Long: Allow 3 hours or more, especially if you stop to eat or take a lot of photographs